What are the facts?
Attached is the letter i received from Knysna’s Mayor, Georlene Wolmarans on August 26 2011. I doubt that it’s composed by her but since she signed it she must own it. The wording seems reasonable to someone unfamiliar with the situation but the reality is the perpetuation of lies and delays by the Knysna’s Democratic Alliance. Considering all that has gone before, i’m more likely to look in between the lines which could imply that i’ve asked too many questions, that the mayor and council have been helpful and that i’ve been, subsequently, unreasonable. In that light, this is my attempt to show you, and the public, more truth. It also demonstrates how awful it has been dealing with the DA.
Additionally, it states that all correspondence from me to them has been sent to you. The Knysna DA has only lied so far so i send this as clarification in case they have only sent those that would cast me in a negative light. After all, i have threatened them but will explain that further down. Conversely, i wish to show my pro-activity. The whole “picture” is important.
It is also highly ironic that after attempting to gain answers for 93 days, that this is the only formal communication i’ve received. It’s appearance prompts a big, fat, “WHY?”. My supposition is that it’s because i mentioned their names in the letter addressed to you, the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille. I also sent it onwards to, amongst others, the MEC for Tourism and Economic Development, Alan Winde. What’s said within, by the Mayor of Knysna, can be redefined as another wall equating to delay. Maybe it’s just a formality as a precursor to legal action. It could be several things but the one certainty is that it is, like all attitudes preceding it, UNHELPFUL!
Consequently, it’s pointless to contact the shameful, local DA anymore. I will have to hope that you, the bosses, give a damn. This may be a local situation but it does question the moral fibre of the DA.
Alan Winde contacted me twice last week which showed quicker, proactive intent than the Knysna DA had shown so far [thanks, Alan]. Nevertheless, in light of the rude treatment i’ve received so far, i, unfortunately, cannot accept his action at face value i.e. how can i trust when everything the local DA has done so far equated to lies? Additionally, some things Alan said did not add up. I don’t imply that Alan is involved in the same shenanigans as Georlene Wolmarans which is why i’ve CCied Alan here so that he has the opportunity to clarify. I will, of course, spread this email beyond you two.
Firstly, are my questions unreasonable? Are they worth the DA lying for? Or being inactive towards? Does it make any sense unless they were in fact protecting, or in bed with, their mates?
93 fucking days of trying to get the transparency we were promised! Don’t admonish me for swearing because it’s doesn’t emphasis this wrong situation enough. Several times, i’ve been asked if i’m angry, if this is personal, or both, as if it dilutes my reasoning and the situation. My answer is, of course i am! That doesn’t alter the actions and non-actions of the Knysna DA, Knysna Tourism and the Tourism Board. That doesn’t remove their responsibility or excuse their lies. And they definitely do not deserve the “respect” that Georlene Wolmarans has requested in her email. They have earned disgust.
What are the facts?
I queried Knysna Tourism’s budget and their community projects. When the CEO of Knysna Tourism, Shaun van Eck, wouldn’t help me, i went to the Tourism Board who, in their forced correspondence with me, did not address a single question. On the day of the elections, i had bumped into the then Mayoral candidate, Georlene Wolmarans, who had promised me she’d get answers that week, after her expected win. That led to several delays on her part, a rude call from her secretary, and then non-communication. Subsequently, i contacted several councillors from all the political parties, had meetings with several, as well as a provincial ANC leader. Non-DA councillors expressed extreme concern about what they perceived, as do i, Knysna Tourism’s racist policies and cronyism. DA members were simply silent!
I had a choice of giving up or fighting for truth. That i despise apathy and love Knysna made the choice simple albeit painful. I say “painful” because i know, from experience, that doing what’s right is a great challenge. Furthermore, we live in a world of complainers not doers. A demotivator for most of the South Africans i know is that they feel powerless. They do not believe that we live in a democracy. They do not feel that their government serves them. It’s easy for me to echo that sentiment of Us and Them. We are, for the most part, dislocated from the forces that control our lives. The Knysna DA is a perfect example of that, from the unknown mayor forced upon us to the appalling manner in which the DA has handled this situation. At best, it’s arrogance, at the least, cronyism. Either way, it’s a corruption of the values the DA ran the election on…and i hate corrupt politicians.
On several occasions, Georlene Wolmarans used the election deception of, “My door is always open.” She went further, in front of you at the Hornlee rally, to say, more or less, “You know where i live. Come knock on my door anytime.” At the first Council meeting, verbatim, she reiterated, “You can bring your problems to me. My door is open.” Statements such as these were widely reported in the press. What the press hasn’t reported is that it was an outright LIE. I know how i was treated and can supply the names of organizations that experienced similar. In Georlene’s letter, the matters at hand are still not being addressed. Instead, more walls, not doors, are being erected. The election platform of TRANSPARENCY was another lie.
So what was i to do? I am a poor man. This recession is a monster. I have survived by borrowing, an uncertainty that could vanish at any moment. Even today, just before the end of the month, i do not know if i will find rent or be homeless. Most of what extra i have gets put into the internet. I spent R20 on a data bundle just so that i could send this to you and post it online. Internet has taken precedence over food. Every month, at some stage, i know what it’s like to be hungry. I tell you this so you understand that my options were limited. I couldn’t pursue it via legal services. I couldn’t hire an investigator. Ask yourself, “Is this democracy? Is this the DA’s spirit and character?” It may be that my life falls apart and the Knysna DA loses a thorn but, if that happens, i’m hoping that you will demonstrate the integrity they do not possess and do the right thing by pursuing this and kicking their butts.
Part 2 here.